I haven’t been letting on, but this past week has been quite the health rollercoaster. No, I’m not going to go all ‘spoonie’ on you, but I’ve basically fallen ill with a bad case of stomach cramps, coupled with a sprained leg. They’re not official terms, but they’ll have to do!
For the last few days, I’ve been in and out of work, and when I’m not at work I’m in bed. I’m in bed typing this even now. My body has had pretty much everything; the sniffles, IBS, stomach cramps, the monthly visitor, and then on Sunday, I stupidly thought I could use painkillers to prop myself up and do a 5k run in preparation for this weekend’s charity 10k. Instead, I sprained my knee and ankle.
I’ve been pretty much glued to my laptop when cosying up under my duvet. Blogs don’t write themselves! However, after days and days of doing the same thing – watching America’s Next Top Model, Parks & Recreation, Girls, and back again – I’ve come to the realisation that my overall under-the-weather-ness is trying to tell me something.
I’ve realised that my mind and my body have been working almost separately for the last few months. I moved to London in early Spring, and I was so pumped for the non-stop lifestyle. But my body hasn’t enjoyed being put through its paces; stagnating under a desk for hours on end in my job, barrelling through the dark and dirty underground networks of the tube, and then being thrown around the park as I go off on runs to burn off some energy. And then back to a computer again to blog, tweet, pin, whatever.
Really, what my body has been craving is balance.
At this point, my body is driving me to rest with the aches and pains. My leg has turned me into a little hobbling goblin, and my cramps have had me rolling in bed wishing for sleep. But all this time sitting around – I mean, there’s only so much TV you can watch – has left me wondering if my drive to be mindful has become a little… dare I say it… mindless?
The irony is thick, I know. But having a job I love, a blog I love, social networks I’m constantly on, fitness that I quite literally throw myself into, a garden to pick snails out of, a family that’s always just a little too far away, and a diet that I’m always scrutinising for plastic packaging, I’ve been pushing myself in all directions. When really, I could have avoided all this mess with a quiet moment to reflect inwardly.
What this post is really about is mental wellbeing, and its vital role in living well. I’ve been neglecting the ‘happiness’ half of wellness (with the other half being ‘health’). Right now, I’m very content in the place I find myself, but instead of thinking I could do more like I naturally do, I should be soaking up a few minutes of inner peace.
When was the last time you sat back, no screen in sight, and thought about how well you’ve done to be in the position you’re in? How happy you feel, how good your body feels, and how amazing our friends and family are? Yeah, I can’t tell you the last time either, because it’s not something I regularly do.
So, here’s what we’re going to do. Take a little moment out of your week, and spend five minutes thinking about your life. It might not be now, it might not be today, but promise yourself five minutes. Set a little alarm, or write yourself a note. Take five minutes to sit, smile, breath, and appreciate yourself, your life, and the world around you. It’s something I need to practice too, and my poorly body is the indication of that. What I’m hoping for next time is the foresight to stop myself going through a zombie week of work, sleep, pain, sleep, work. And hopefully, it’ll work for you too!